Another Perspective on Freedom

This is from Matthew Kimberley, Partner in Book Yourself Solid®. Have to say, I’ve had the same experience; maybe you can relate, too?


Independence of location – the freedom to be able to work from anywhere where you’ve got a laptop and an internet connection – is a beautiful thing.

At least, in principle it’s a beautiful thing.



I knew I wanted to be able to spend more time with my new family. I knew that being tied to a commute. I knew an office was going to run counter to those wishes. So I chose an option that was mobile.


That option had no commute.


I had the ability to go to the supermarket in the middle of the day when the lines were shortest. The liberty of choosing my “office” depending on what the weather was doing was deeply attractive.


And I didn’t regret it for an instant. Until I did.


You see … it came with a downside.


And that downside was entirely due to me, and my own innate weaknesses.


(Michael Port says that 90% of business problems are personal problems in disguise. I think he’s lowballing it.)


My weaknesses meant that unless I had routine, I wasn’t particularly productive.


If I didn’t get to sit in exactly the same spot, in the same coffee shop every day, I’d spend a good hour or so “getting in the zone”.


Unless I committed to rigid working hours … which I was convinced I wanted to move away from … then I’d end up working late into the night.


If I opted into doing something cool in the middle of the afternoon, when I’m at my least productive, then I’d have a tough time returning to work at all.


And if I needed privacy and quiet to do a coaching call, then that was a tall order that caused me stress.


When son number 2 came along, with his attendant diaper-change requirements, and then when we adopted the puppy with her exercise and belly-rub requirements, I realized that location-independence was actually the opposite of what I needed.


I needed the consistency and quiet of a dedicated working location.


And although I’m writing this from the road, between having taught Book Yourself Solid to conference attendees in Sydney and doing the same next week in the Philippines … I’m really looking forward to getting back to my routine.


I’m looking forward to getting back to my dedicated, location-rooted office.


The office is a 15 minute walk from my house.


There is a coffee shop at the six minute mark which I drop into every day.


It’s a low-key and not particularly attractive office.


The desk faces the wall so that distractions are kept to minimum.


My business growth is now dependent on me finding dependency and consistency in being bolted to a particular location.


Freedom can be dangerous. And I work better without too much of it. I need firm constraints to keep me in line.


Perhaps you’re the same?


Whether those constraints are the time you allow yourself to do something, or the scope of the projects you’re prepared to accept, or the physical location of where you do you work, you’ll probably find that you can get more out of what you have by being strict with yourself.


Too much freedom can be dangerous for us entrepreneurial types. It’s what we say “no” to that allows us to move forward without distraction.


So what are you saying no to today?

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